Thiruvananthapuram, May 25: The ever-smiling and cheerful visage of outgoing chief minister Oommen Chandy appears to have been clouded, yet he is trying to keep up that smile.
Chandy, who led the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) for the past five years, ended up beaten in the state assembly elections when he expected to rewrite the political history of Kerala by becoming the first government head to retain power.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Democratic Front swept the May 16 polls, winning 91 seats in the 140-member assembly and showing the door to Chandy's Congress-led government that was in power since 2011.
Chandy has now moved out to his residence in the state capital city.
Speaking to IANS, Chandy admitted that he never expected such a backlash.
"Yes, never did we expect to perform like this. We did not get the expected support that we had hoped we would get from various places," said a sombre Chandy.
Chandy refuses to say if he will take up the post of leader of opposition in the state assembly
"I was the leader and we have been defeated, and now how can I again take up the leadership?" said Chandy.
Chandy's close aides, however, are determined to persuade him to take up the post. The Congress is waiting for the arrival of the party's national leadership who in consultation with the elected legislators will decide who should take up the post.
The election drubbing is set to have long-term ramifications on the way ahead for Chandy, who is acknowledged among the most hard working chief ministers the state has had.